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Lockheed Martin in Syracuse misses out on lucrative defense contract

Charles Atkelson
via Flickr

The central New York operation of Lockheed Martin failed to secure the third round of a lucrative Navy supply contract.

The first two rounds of funding for a new electronic warfare system known by the acronym SEWIP were given to Lockheed Martin’s plant in suburban Syracuse in 2013 and 2014. Last summers award was worth $147 million.

But the Navy decided to the award the third, and largest, part of the contract to competitor Northrup Grumman. The Navy says the contract is worth skywards of $300 million with all the options.

A Lockheed spokesperson told the U.S. Naval Institute's news service that the company will seek an explanation from the Navy for why it wasn't chosen.

The Lockheed facility in Liverpool focuses on radar and electronic technology. The SEWIP system, which stands for Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program and is pronounced "sea-whip," is designed to upgrade naval ships’ ability to detect missile attacks.

Lockheed Martin is one of the Syracuse area’s largest employers. Its fate has been closely watched as a decline in defense spending has resulted in layoffs and the factory’s near total demise in a corporate consolidation effort two years ago.